Feeling Proud of Veterans and Dollhouses

Today is Veteran’s Day. Many, many communities throughout our country are remembering and celebrating all service men and women who have fought and are now fighting for our freedom. I also believe it’s a day for personal reflection. I think about how lucky I am to live in this country. I think of my deceased father who fought valiantly in the Korean War. I think of my husband who served in the Air Force. I think of my nephew, cousin and co-workers’ husband who were, and still are, strong and proud Marines.  And I think of the son of one of my good friends.  He is now serving with the Air Force stationed in Italy. No, he is not fighting on the front lines, but if you think he may have it easy, this boy, and yes he is just a boy, has the dangerous, but important job of testing munitions. I also am reminded that one of our own Real Good Toys employees serves in the Vermont National Guard and has spent time overseas and in combat. With all of those people I know and am close to, I truly feel proud.   

Locally, I think about the dedicated people that protect us by serving on our police force and in our fire department in Barre.  Since Real Good Toys has recently donated one of our QuickBuild™Firehouses to our local fire department to raise funds for the Cadet Program, I especially have thought about our firefighters. 

Think about it.  If you’ve never been close to a firefighter, you may have had the misconception that they sit around the station all day eating and playing cards and only get going when they have a call. In Barre, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with some of the most involved and dedicated firefighters through Real Good Toys donation efforts to benefit their programs. Members of Barre City Fire Department maintain websites, facebook pages and blogs dedicated to educating our community about fire safety. They make occasional television appearances demonstrating fire prevention and safety. 

 The Barre City Fire Department also facilitates a great program where kids 15-18 have the opportunity to see what it is like to be a firefighter. The cadets work and train hard, learning about fire fighting, team work and brotherhood. This is a fairly new program, but since its inception, 3 cadets in this program have gone on to complete fire school and become full fledged firefighters.

The Barre City Fire Department travels to area schools to educate children about fire prevention and safety. Vermont supplies fire departments’ throughout the state with a Hazard House. One of these dedicated firefighters recently brought a Hazard House for us to see. It’s a slice of a house that is full of graphics, sound effects and visual aids in each room that enable the viewer to identify and correct any safety hazards, whether they be fire or chemical. It is an amazing tool. It was unbelievable to learn that there is only one company that makes a house like this and it costs several thousand dollars. Equally unbelievable is that Vermont has only one of these for the whole state to share. 

Real Good Toys is donating our Finished Vermont Farmhouse so our fire department can create their own Hazard House of sorts. It won’t have all the bells and whistles the original has, but the firefighters are going to work on creating some graphics and visual aids of their own. They plan to make miniature smoke detectors and rope ladders. Maybe we’ll turn some of these guys into miniaturists! Maybe Real Good Toys will corner the market and create a Hazard House competitor! I’ll keep you posted on that idea. As an employee of Real Good Toys, I am proud of their willingness to become involved in our community and their generosity when donating dollhouses. 

Because of all of these dedicated people, whether they are soldiers, firefighters, or a dollhouse company, I’m feeling especially proud today!



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